Getting a Sworn Translation in Italy
You may have heard the expression ‘sworn translation’ or ‘sworn translator’ and wondered what it means. Maybe someone has specifically asked you for the sworn translation of a document into Italian for legal purposes, and you have no idea of what to do.
This article will respond to some general questions regarding sworn translations:
- What is a sworn translation?
- When is a sworn translation needed?
- Who can perform a sworn translation?
- How can I obtain a sworn translation in Italy?
- How much does a sworn translation cost?
What is a sworn translation?
A sworn translation (in Italian, traduzione giurata or traduzione asseverata) is a translation that obtains legal value as a certified copy (in Italian, copia conforme) of its source document. It is performed by a sworn translator — who signs a specific oath statement — and is then authenticated by the Clerk of the Court, or another public officer in charge.
When is a sworn translation needed?
In Italy, a sworn translation is usually required whenever a document or a certificate written in English (or any language other than Italian) needs to become legally effective in Italy. The oath statement signed by the translator, along with the authentication of the public officer, attests that the document or certificate has been faithfully and accurately translated, so the translation becomes a certified copy of the source document. This means that it has the same validity as the original copy.
Sworn translations may be required, for example, when you apply for Italian citizenship. In this case, you will be asked to provide sworn translations of all the certificates that prove your Italian origin. These could be:
- Birth certificates
- Marriage certificates
- Death certificates
- Petitions for Naturalization
…and many others.
Sworn translations may also be required, for example, in the case of a cross-border succession, when either the deceased person or the appointed heirs are from Italy. They are also needed if you decide to open a company or a branch office in Italy, where you are required to provide sworn translations of the company documentation or the employees’ documents. You will also need a sworn translation of your qualifications if you want to study in Italy.
So, in short, a sworn translation is required in any case where a document needs to be legally valid in Italy.
Who can perform a sworn translation?
A sworn translation is performed by a sworn translator. Sworn translators are professionals who have been accredited by their local Court or Chamber of Commerce and recognized as experts – based on their education and experience – in one or more language combinations.
How can I obtain a sworn translation in Italy?
In order to obtain a sworn translation in Italy, the sworn translator needs to take the source document and its translation to the local court, where the clerk at the translations authentication office (in Italian, ‘Ufficio asseverazione perizie e traduzioni‘) will witness the signing of the oath, staple the source document and its translation together, apply the revenue stamps required, assign a unique registration number to the document, and, finally, sign and put a stamp on it.
The result is one document made up of:
- the source document;
- its translation;
- an oath statement containing details of the translator and of the document, the translator’s signature, the date, and a unique registration number assigned by the public officer;
- revenue stamps (see paragraph below).
How much does a sworn translation cost?
The cost of a sworn translation may vary depending on a series of factors:
- the nature of the source document;
- the total number of pages;
- the deadline set for its delivery (the tighter the deadline, the higher the cost);
- the number of revenue stamps that need to be applied to the document;
- the cost of the mail service used to deliver the original document to the translator and for the translator to send it back once the work is completed.
Bear in mind that public documents in Italy are subject to a government tax. In the case of sworn translations, revenue stamps of two different amounts are needed*:
- a €16,00 revenue stamp on the first page of the translation and then one every 4 pages (the oath statement is included in the page count) or 100 lines. This means that if 2 pages contain more than 100 lines, you need to add one more revenue stamp. The same happens if, for example, 5 pages contain less than 100 lines.
- a €3,92 revenue stamp on the oath statement.
Do you need a sworn translation from English into Italian?
If you need a sworn translation of a document into Italian, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Please indicate what type of document you need the sworn translation for, and what its intended use will be.
For a detailed quote, you’re welcome to send a scanned photo of your document (don’t forget any pages!) to my e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Please remember that sometimes different Italian courts apply different rules in terms of revenue stamps. Always check with your sworn translator first. The above rules are valid for the Court of Palermo.